This weekend, as we celebrate July 4th, millions of Americans will take to the grill. Of these millions, most of them will be men. According to recent survey data, men are more than 2x as likely than women to be firing up the grill. Only 19% of households report that it’s women who are taking charge. So whether it’s that you are worried you’ll ruin the food, or afraid of burning the house down, it’s time to push those fears aside, pick up the tongs and join in the fun!
We turned to Elizabeth Karmel, founder of Girls at the Grill and “America’s Female Grilling Expert”, to give us her simple and easy tips to get our grill on. “Grilling is 10% skill and 90% the will to grill,” she says.
The ABC’s of Grilling by Elizabeth Karmel
Accurate instant-read meat thermometer takes guesswork out of testing for doneness. Burned barbecue is bad barbecue. Close lid while cooking. Direct cooking method. Extinguish flare-ups by closing the lid—never use a water bottle. Fuel. Make sure you have enough charcoal or your gas tank is full. Grey-ash covered charcoal means you’re ready to cook. Have fun. Indirect cooking method.
Just grill it. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and the food is ready to grill. Keep the grill clean by using a brass bristle brush to clean the cooking grates. Locking long handled tongs are much easier to use than traditional BBQ tongs. Make sure your “mess is in place.” Be organized. No dishes to wash! Olive oil. Put a thin coating on everything before grilling. Pre-heat your grill. Questions? FAQ’s. Rest. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Salt, use only Kosher or sea salt.
Turn only once halfway through cooking time. Use barbecue sauce only during the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Vents. Keep them open to keep the fire burning. Wash your hands and wash platters between raw and cook stages to prevent cross contamination. X marks your spot at the grill. Don’t be afraid to wield the tongs. Yummy juices. Keep them in the food – choose tongs instead of a fork. Zucchini. Grill foods beyond corn and potatoes – all veggies taste better when grilled.
As a sought after media personality, Karmel writes for, and is frequently featured in an array of national magazines from Saveur to Better Homes & Gardens, and appears regularly on all three network morning shows. She writes a bi-monthly column for the Associated Press called American Table. She is also the author of three acclaimed cookbooks, the designer of an innovative line of outdoor cooking and kitchen tools.
Elizabeth started Girls at the Grill to share her passion for outdoor cooking with girls (and any willing guy) everywhere. The site provides easy instructions, lifestyle information and recipes for everything from classic cookouts to gourmet grill meals. Elizabeth shares her knowledge and enthusiasm every week through the free GrillNEWS newsletter she sends to members of the website’s LadyBug Club.